When we spend time with God, sometimes it seems so easy to get distracted. Other times, we feel like we just don’t know where to start. That’s where this next Bible study tip will help—if you apply it of course! 🙂
This week’s Bible study tip is about why we should choose a Bible reading plan prior to our daily quiet time. It’s important not to figure it out last minute, but to have a plan for Bible reading and study ready.
Choosing a Bible reading plan ahead of time will give you a place to start every time. No more flipping back and forth between pages and chapters in the Word, hoping for something to draw you in. Having a plan ready means you will meet with God in His Word daily without floundering. No more wasted time figuring out where to begin.
What Kind of Bible Reading Plan Should You Choose?
I recommend choosing a plan that lasts a year or two years and takes you through the whole Bible. You don’t have to start in January either. Regardless of the time of year, just pick a plan and start.
I finished reading through the Bible in a year at the end of last year, followed by studying some books separately. However, I really liked the organization that came with reading through the whole Bible, so this month I jumped back onto a similar whole Bible plan that stretches through two years.
Reading through the entire Bible is what I would recommend, within a year or two years. Then, when you’re finished, do it again the next year.
If you’re in a Bible study group and concerned you couldn’t add in all the extra reading, you could also study the book of the Bible the group is focused on. If it’s short, consider adding a chapter or two from the Gospels or Psalms and Proverbs each day.
Isn’t Having a Daily Bible Reading Plan Limiting?
Having a daily reading plan is not limiting at all. We’re not limiting ourselves from growing in relationship with God simply by having a place to start each day. It’s not something we do by feeling, as mentioned above, but as a disciple who wants to learn from Christ Jesus.
In fact, not having a plan can actually limit us because we waste time searching for where to start each day instead of spending focused time with God.
With a plan, we set aside time to be with the Lord in the place we’re reading, even when the chapter isn’t our favorite for the day. It’s similar to how we would spend time with our spouse watching a movie we might not like because we want to spend time with them, even if we didn’t choose movie that night.
Exceptions to the Rule
At times, such as when there’s a specific need or a trial in your life, you may need or want to read elsewhere in the Scriptures. That’s okay! Go with it. Read a Psalm, spend extra time writing your prayers to God in your journal, or whatever helps. Then get back on the plan the next day or as soon as you can.
If you can’t catch up the missed day, just start on the day you would be on. This goes for missed days for any reason as well.
The point of a plan is not to be legalistic or try to force yourself to be perfect in meeting with God. The point of a plan is to enable you to say “no” to distractions and time wasters that we can experience when we don’t know where to start.
Where to Find Bible Reading Plans
Below are a few sites with various Bible reading plans to fit any person’s current status or season in life (children or not, working or at home, in school, etc.)
Carson and M’Cheyne Reading Plans
This page contains the plan I currently use—the two-year Carson version—which has chapters from two books a day and has you read the New Testament and Psalms once during both years. The original version—the M’Cheyne plan—takes you through the entire Bible in one year, with chapters from four books of the Bible each day.
This site has many plan options, from a Psalm each day, the Bible in chronological order, and even reading the entire Bible in 90 days! You can select a plan and even create an account to save your notes and find out the dates for the reading no matter which day of the year you begin.
BLB has quite a few different plans, ranging from one and two-year plans and plans that are in canonical order (straight through from Genesis to Revelation), as well as chronological order and more. I like their site as well because you can easily access resources such as the Hebrew and Greek meanings of the words and Bible commentaries.
This site has three plans you can choose from, such as a 5x5x5 New Testament only plan, and two whole Bible plans that can be read in a year or two years if broken up into two days. Printable guides are available for each plan.
Ready to find a daily Bible reading plan? As you use it to help you study the Word, you’ll find yourself reading God’s Word more often and more effectively.
When you choose to stick with a daily plan for your Bible reading and study, you will come to your quiet time each day without having to figure out where to begin. No wasting time figuring it out, you’ve already got direction and you can simply begin to meet with God.
If this post helped you, please leave a comment or reply. I’d love to know which reading plan you’re considering or the one you’re already using.
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6 thoughts on “Bible Study Tips: Why You Need a Scripture Reading Plan”
Thanks for sharing about having a plan. It REALLY makes a huge difference for me. I use the same 2 year reading plan every 2 years (or, okay, sometimes it takes 3 years) but I read from a different translation every 2 years so I’ll hear the words fresh. But God always speaks new things to us anyway, even if it’s words we’ve read many times already.
Yes, it’s amazing to me how reading through the Bible more than once, things will stand out in one reading that didn’t the year or two before. I love that!
I believe having a Bible reading plan has been the most important and impacting thing in my life and my relationship with God. I have been reading through the Bible each year for about 12 years. I do occasionally change translations but I stay with the same basic plan.
Having a plan has probably been one of the most impactful things for me also, although I haven’t been at it as long. It’s so encouraging to hear your testimony of faithfulness to reading God’s Word for so many years. Thank you, Donna!
So true! I like bible in a year plans and read a different version from one year to the next. I use bible.com’s app which has the various versions already there and tons of topical or book reading options too. Thanks for this encouragement!
Yes, having a plan is such a help. Thanks for sharing the site you use so others can have more ideas to choose from too. 🙂
Thanks for reading and commenting!
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